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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi again,

I promised to update about the puppies etc and then I got so busy I totally forgot. Yet again, if you are reading this and have any desire to ever have a litter of puppies with hopes of making money - let me say first of all, to date I have spent almost $3k on these little ones. And Momma didn't need a c-section or anything... that's just cost of doing it properly - all the equipment for the birth, the whelping area, feeding momma the best foods and supplements, vet checks, puppy pads, blankets and towels, puppy formula and weaning formula, wormer etc. etc. And that's before the big vet visit for the final health checks and first vaccinations before they go to their new homes. It's a freaking huge expensive thing and the lack of sleep and amount of time caring for them takes is immense.

With the warnings out of the way, let me tell you about the last few weeks.

At first Momma was still very stressed. We put her on some calming pills and that helped a little, but she still spent almost all her time away from the puppies, only feeding and cleaning them sporadically. So I spent the first 2.5 weeks sleeping (ha! Not sleeping, really) on the recliner beside the whelping area. I had to get up and rotate the puppies a lot as she only had 8 nipples she wanted to use, she wouldn't let them get access to all 10. Life was a whirl of rotating puppies, helping to top and tail them because Momma didn't figure that out for a week or so, and weighing them and charting their growth so we knew each day who needed to be watched most carefully.

In this way, we got all 11 of them to thrive and they have gained steadily - even on the third day after birth when Momma got violently ill and was throwing up all over the place all day. I think that may have been from all the placentas, but also because I was over-feeding her in a misguided attempt to help her maintain weight and produce milk. I had taken all the advice I found out there for nutritious foods and was cooking her chicken breasts and livers and giving her dry food soaked in broth and with dollops of cottage cheese, boiled eggs and goats milk. No wonder she got sick, she was not used to eating so much! Once I scaled down the feeds and spread it all out she was fine.

The puppies will be 4 weeks old tomorrow, and although I still have to lure Momma in to feed them, especially now they have teeth, they are fat and happy. We won't know for a while who will take after momma (Great Pyr) and who will be more like their dad, a husky. But we have suspicions based on thickness of ears etc which might have droopy ears when older.

We have a list of potential homes ready and waiting to pick out their puppy at 5 weeks - we refused to let people choose till then as we want their personalities to start showing first - it's easy to get it wrong if you only go on appearance, and the most sleepy one at 2 weeks is now the champion face-biter during Puppy Wars. Their favourite game is trying to fit their sibling's entire face into their mouth.

So, all in all, we are doing well, they are weaning now onto puppy formula mixed with weaning formula, and we will add in the puppy food to that in a week or two... Momma only feeds twice a day and twice at night now. It's not ideal - they would like her more, but we don't like to stress her and honestly, she helped us through the first phases and she deserves to sit back while we pick up the slack. The puppies descend on their casserole dish of milk mixand have it licked clean in 5 minutes flat - I just wish they wouldn't dive in with their whole bodies as bathing them takes an hour and a half.

Hope you like the photos. Also, we are hoping to keep one (Momma will be booked for her spay when we do the final vet check and she has weaned them all) - we know it should be a male because female Great Pyrs do better with male dogs. We kind of know who we would like to keep, but I have a slight worry - he is the loner of the group - he often sleeps at the far side of the pen from the others by choice. It's quite hot here, so they aren't sleeping in a pile anymore, but the others still stay close to each other most of the time. He doesn't mind them being near him, but he usually picks his own spot and if they come, so be it. He does all the same play fighting, but is more aware of what we are doing outside the play area, and is more a watcher than a doer. Is that a bad sign, or is he just practising being a guardian dog like his momma? The one we want to keep is Ace.
 

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I'm glad all the puppies are thriving! They're very cute. I hope all the homes work out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks - we will see, I am being picky with the new homes, I'm lucky that they are cute so I am getting interest. Some seem to have great potential though - one worked with great pyr rescue, another is a preacher and has a lot of time to be with them, most have an older dog to guide the puppy and all so far have husky or great pyr experience with a knowledge of the other breed. A few don't yet have a planned home lined up, but here are 6 more weeks to get those and I won't rush just to have it sorted - the homes need to fit or else the puppies risk being in a shelter within a year. So the new home just has to understand the breed needs... I'm uploading videos and things to a facebook page for them so he potential homes really get to know them well before they come and get them. I hope that their new homes will keep in touch. I feel like I would if someone came to marry my daughter :) It's weird how protective you can be over puppies.
 

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Thank you for updating us. Sounds like you have put in so much work for this darling group of puppies. Kudos to you !!!
 
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